Monday, February 28, 2011

Rev 3 Race/Nutrition Report Costa Rica

Rev 3 ROCKS!!!!

After 8 days of a lot of vacation and a little training.... race morning finally rolled around.
I got a 4am wake up call. Room service arrived. Cereal, OJ,banana's, toast and jelly.
All I really felt like was my First Endurance Ultragen that time of the morning. But I sat on the verandah eating a slice of toast ,jelly and a banana, I decided that I needed caffeine so I made a cup of coffee too.
I filled a bottle of Ultragen which I would sip on until race start. I decided to race with 2 bottles of EFS although for an Olympic one was more than enough.

The race start was mello and all the pro girls were chatty. I got my Kestrel ready to roll in transition. I then checked and rechecked my gear...Always a good idea first race of the season. After a little warmup run where I almost twisted my ankle in the dark I decided I would just chill at the room until 6am and then I strolled down to the beach.

The energy was good down there and after a warmup swim, a quick sip on EFS liquid shot, we were doing the count down to the swim start.
I knew my swim was not going to be super as I don't have that short course speed and secondly I had not been in the pool doing any speed in ten days. So I just put my head down and tried to swim as hard as I could. Team mate Amanda Lovato and I kept each other company and we headed onto the bike ready to hammer and catch the girls in front of us.
The bike was a challenging fun course with a 200m gravel section and then straight into a long steep climb. I made the rookie mistake of not shifting into my easiest gear, and not wanting to take my hands of the bars so I just grinded my legs to the top. This was not what I had practiced and I had to laugh at myself because there was a second where I thought I may not make it.
I had seen age groupers walking in the days leading up to the race but with all eyes on my I sucked it up!
Once on the flat I quickly got into a comfortable speed. I kept reminding myself that comfortable was not where I should be...and pushed harder and harder. Descending the ride and catching and passing two girls, with two more in my sight.

I felt good about my bike and headed onto the run carrying a liquid shot flask with me. For the first two miles I sipped on the shot and water.

The run headed out straight onto the beach....a beautiful section overlooking the ocean where I had taken stunning pics the day before. I reminded myself to focus and push hard. I had not seen the whole run course and did not realise that most of the course when it was not on the beach was up a long hill and then up a steep hill....a nice little surprise! I was happy for the hill work thar I had done in training.

With one loop to go I passed two more girls and ran hard towards the finish. My kids were there waiting for me and asked if they could run with me.
I grabbed their hands and ran for the finish, placing 7th in the women's pro field!

What more could we ask for than ice baths and fresh coconut water at the finish line! What a way to end a fantastic race experience!

As always the first thing I did when I got back to my room was have my Ultragen smoothie to help with my recovery. It worked with no sore legs the next day!!!

It was a brutally hot day, getting up to 104 degree's and later I went back to the race to cheer on the guys doing the half.

We ended our day by relaxing at the pool then heading out on a sunset ATV ride.
A great way to finish off our trip!

Big thanks to all the guys from Rev 3 who worked so hard to put on a great few days of racing and to my team mates for racing so well!
Everyone needs to put this race on their calendar as a great winter escape!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Costa Rica Revolution 3 trip Part 1


Loved the riding out many big hills to climb!!!

I cannot believe the inaugural Revolution 3 Triathlon race was a week ago already. My family and I are still having flashbacks of all the good times. Like missing the sun,the pool,the sounds of the ocean, the massages on the beach and the fresh air to name a few!
Costa Rica was a dream trip and Rev 3 race was exciting and challenging! Both first class and the result one happy family! Which ultimately makes me very happy! Racing can be tough on the family so when they get to go and reap the benefits in beautiful destinations...all the better!!!

I have to say I was truly proud to be a part of the Revolution which focuses on bringing outstanding and fun experiences to all who are racing and the supporting families.
It was decided over Christmas that we would make this our big family trip and it never disappointed! Costa Rica was the perfect place for a get away and the most beautiful place for a race.
There is nothing better for us athletes that work so hard at our sport to beable to race in beautiful surroundings. You can feed off the elements and it makes all those hard cold weather training so worth it. Being able to share the experience
with your family makes it all the better. I have been to a lot of solo races without them and it is always nice to have their support.
It brings a different dynamic to my race. It puts things in perspective because at the end of the race no matter how it goes I still have my children there with big open hearts and smiles, so proud and ready to run with me over the finish line…so excited for me and happy!

Costa Rica is one fantastic place. Everyone kept saying "Pura Vida" to me before I left and I was not prepared for how free and what a great escape this would be. In a time that we all really needed it.
I had come back from a solid ten days of training in New Mexico and had picked up a bad cold that kept my training very inconsistent. We have had a brutal winter and the whole family was ready for a warm weather escape.
It felt great to get off the plane and quickly change into shorts and Tshirts….Love it!

I immediately fell in love with Costa Rica. The pretty beaches,palm tree's, the simple life that everyone leads. There was no cell service which meant a break from the constant calls and internet time was cut back a lot!

Our days were spent pool side,at the beach, zip lining through tree tops and riding horses on the beach. Many experiences and memories to last a life time.

We went out a week before the race and I ventured out onto the Costa Rican roads with no cell service . I have to say I was a little apprehensive for about five minutes but then I fell in love with biking there. I got some phenomenal climbing in with hills that reminded me a lot of the beast in St Croix. My family escorted via kayaks on a few open water ocean swims where I treasured swimming with an array of colorful fish within inches of me.

Running too was so therapeutic. When you run solo it allows for a lot of introspection and running on beaches in beautiful places evokes such a feeling of nostalgia to why I love to run and the freedom it gives you. The things you can see and discover, the sunrises you see, the quietness of the world waking up,birds chirping, nature at it's best. The best therapy you can have. With no watch on I would just run on feel, breaking out into intervals of pure highness on life!

Ok so I have got a bit off track what I really want to talk about is the Rev 3 race!

Five days before the race we made the trip to Playa Conchal to the race site. Nobody knew about the triathlon yet and I had to explain that before they knew it there would be hundreds of people wearing skimpy clothes ,drinking energy drinks and riding bikes taking over the area.They did not seem to convinced. but checking into the race hotel on Thursday the atmosphere was changing. The Costa Rican guys all wanted to touch and lift up my Kestrel. It stood at the entrance of the hotel carefully guarded all day.
I went down to the beach for a open water swim and met a few nice guys and we did a beautiful ocean swim. The race hotel was absolutely perfect...all inclusive and they gave me a room within steps from the race start. I was ecstatic!

The few days before the race people were rolling in. It was so much fun to go down to the race expo and see how excited the locals were getting for the race.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Slowtwitch Article on the Rev3 Series and the man behind it...Charlie!

The Rev3 Triathlon series

Written by: Timothy Carlson
Date: Mon Dec 20 2010

Right about the time when the U.S. and world financial markets were imploding and much of the world was riding out an economic storm, the business of triathlon series not the obvious route to riches. In 2008 and 2009 some well established series such as the Lifetime Fitness / Race to the Toyota Cup were reining in their groundbreaking large professional prize purses, and established mega-tri entities like the World Triathlon Corporation and the ITU purses were not increasing their payouts.

But a 30-year-old government contractor and amateur triathlete and adventure racer from northern Virginia decided to go against the conservative tide. In September of 2008, Charlie Patten and his newly formed Revolution3 group announced an ambitious half Ironman event to be held June 7, 2009 on a challenging, hilly course located at the Quassy amusement park in Middlebury, Connecticut.

The plan was to offer professional prize money that bettered the WTC’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship $90,000 pro purse by $10,000. In addition, Rev3 was also offering $20,000 in cash and prizes to the age group field.

The plan was to offer professional prize money that bettered the WTC’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship $90,000 pro purse by $10,000. In addition, Rev3 was also offering $20,000 in cash and prizes to the age group field.

Adding to the odds against its success was the challenge of choosing to start the race from scratch with a new venue with the hopes of drawing a world class field. After its start as a standalone, televised, big money event in Minneapolis—located on a longstanding traditional course—Lifetime Fitness eventually expanded to a series including established races in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York which already had large, revenue-generating age group fields. By contrast, the ambitious Tri 101 series which promised big pro purses for its three-quarters of an Ironman-distance events went belly up after two new races held in small new locations and canceled its final two scheduled events in 2007.

As extensive promotion, a big purse and some luck would have it, the first Rev3 race in Middlebury Connecticut drew four world champion women who provided an exciting duel won by Mirinda Carfrae. While the men’s field only had one world champion, Paul Amey, established star Matt Reed prevailed in a tight, 3-man finish.

While exciting high profile elite races may prime the pump for a new event, the long term success requires large age group fields. On that account, the inaugural Rev3 at Quassy had an acceptable-for-a-debut total of 550 finishers both because of and despite the race’s rep as one of the toughest half Ironman layouts in the world.

With more investment capital than the ill-fated Tri 101, a better pro field, greater age group numbers and better control over venues with the support of the Quassy amusement park where the race was held, Rev3 advanced to an expanded second season in 2010. The series started with a $50,000 purse -- $7,000 each to the winners – for an Olympic distance race in Knoxville, Tennessee. The second year at Quassy featured an increased $150,000 prize purse -- $20,000 for the winners -- for Rev3’s premier half Ironman distance event. And the 2010 Rev3 season culminated with a $100,000 purse -- $16,000 for the winners – for a full Ironman distance event centered at the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. To up the interest, Rev3 took a page from the 2007 Lifetime Fitness Series by posting a $125,000 bonus for any triathlete who could win all three events. That was in addition to a $15,000 prize for the men’s and women’s overall series winners.

The total prize purses in the three-race Rev3 series added up to $420,000 – almost precisely the amount offered by the downsized prize money offered by the Lifetime Fitness six-race series.

Primed by increasing prize money and the lure of the $125,000 bonus, the second year Rev3 fields were high quality and yielded several great duels. After winning Round One in Knoxville, Matt Reed and Julie Dibens went all out trying to preserve their chances at the $125,000 series slam bonus, but by the end of the day in Quassy, two world-class thoroughbreds -- two-time Ironman World Champion and 2006 IM 70.3 world titlist Craig Alexander and Mirinda Carfrae – prevailed for the $20,000 wins.

Beyond the excitement of their 2010 races, Rev3 entries increased by a reassuring margin that buoyed long term hopes for survival and profits. Knoxville debuted with 366 Olympic distance finishers and 179 who completed the half for a one day total of 545 – equal to the 2009 Quassy debut. Helped by positive reviews for the first year race, Quassy drew 383 finishers for its Olympic race and 681 for the half distance event for a total of 1,064 finishers from an estimated 1,300 starters – doubling the 2009 totals. Cedar Point drew 339 to the full and 594 to the half for a total of 993 finishers.

He may be an enthusiastic age group athlete, but Rev3 CEO Charlie Patten is a businessman first. So he required bottom line indicators like the attendance jumps to afford the patience needed to bet that Rev3 is on the road to the black.

“We have a parent company that backs us and they understand that start ups take time to show profits,” he said. “Right now, we are looking at a 4-5 year plan for a return on the initial investment.”

The relative success of year 2 has inspired Rev3 to add races in Portland, Oregon ($50,000 prize purse), Anderson, South Carolina ($50,000 prize purse) and a combination Olympic distance triathlon ($30,000 prize purse) in Costa Rica, making Revolution 3 technically an international series.

Patten won’t reveal all the details of this private company, but is willing to give a few hints. “For more reasons then one, I would rather not get too deep into who the investors are behind Rev3. I am in investor in Rev3 as well as one corporate entity. Also, I would rather not get into what the investment is to date. I will go as far to say that it is a heavy front loaded investment. Our expenditures were very large for year one, a little less for year two, and we will follow that pattern for year three. It is our plan to hit the end of the runway and to have the wheels on the airplane up by year 5! That said, there are some things we are working on that may or may not help us reach the end of the runway by the start of year five.”

The moment that sparked Patten to dream up Rev3 came when he was waiting in line to sign up for Ironman Lake Placid after finishing the 2008 race in 12 hours 15 minutes. “The thought came into my mind while I was waiting in line,” said Patten. “The supply of quality races must be very low if athletes are dishing over $500 one year in advance. And people were securing their accommodations for the following year while they were checking out of their hotel on Monday after the race. What sealed the deal for me was the fact that a lot of those athletes were complaining about having to commit so far in advance.”

While Patten was also a fan of the many things that WTC does well, he shared the frustration many feel about the effort it takes to get into Ironman races and saw an opening. “We learned a ton about race production from Ironman and we try our hardest to replicate the things they do well,” he says. “That said, we also felt that a certain customer focus was lacking. When we decided to put on major triathlons, we made it our mission to truly try our hardest to put the customers first and understand our clients’ needs.”

One of those needs was to avoid the WTC’s hard line on refunds. “For example, if you serve in the military and end up with a deployment that you weren’t expecting, you better believe that at Rev3 we are refunding your money,” he said. “Get pregnant? ‘Congratulations, here’s your money back and we hope to see you in the future!’ Death in the family? ‘We are sorry for your loss; here is your money back.’” Obviously, we use discretion, but the point is that we care about the athlete.”

In launching his series, Patten also tried to think out of the box with technology and race coverage. Instead of paying out big money for broadcast television of Rev3’s debut 2009 event, he initiated live streaming internet race coverage with live video more like the ITU live internet coverage than the WTC’s no live video but extensive print and stats Ironman coverage. For the first event at Quassy they not only had live coverage on a Jumbotron screen at the start finish line, they also offered spectators access to computers in the transition area equipped with that Trakkers, a GPS technology that tracks athletes and offered real-time information such as location, speed, heart rate, elevation and current pace of the athletes.

After the first two seasons, Patten’s thinking on the technology front is evolving. “We started off the series with a big bang and a large focus on new technologies,” he said. “We found quickly that, while people appreciated the effort, they were ok with doing things in a more traditional way.”

For the past two years, he says, “all of our races had live Internet coverage. That goes along with our approach of using technology as a differentiator in the marketplace. We will scale that back a bit in the coming year so we can focus on a TV production. We will have live coverage of some sort, but we have yet to figure out what that means. We will in fact have a highlight reel available by the evening at each one of our races next year. We have pulled together a great team for our video productions. We will be using Upstage Video for a large piece of the production and have teamed up with Greg McFadden to help with producing and directing the live show.”

Live internet coverage done well, says Patten, “is awesome, but it doesn't bring in the same numbers of eyes that a TV production would bring in. From a sponsor’s perspective, especially one that is not in the triathlon industry, TV is more valuable to them. We were getting anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 of viewers for our Internet coverage. But TV may bring us in the millions and we are looking into a production or multiple TV productions for 2011.”
Patten is willing to take risks and favors thinking outside the box, so does he come break the mold of the current race director and CEO. When he started Revolution3, he was not yet 30—younger than many of the marquee pros and far younger than the average race directors and impresarios that rule the business of triathlon.

“Truth of the matter is, I am getting old. I went over the hill in 2009 when I had my 30th birthday.”

He was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and spent his childhood moving around the country from army base to army base. He graduated from high school in 1998, spent his summer mowing greens at a golf course and shipped out for Army National Guard boot camp in September of that same year. “The day my father retired, he swore me into the Army National Guard,” recalled Patten. “Seeing as I am not that smart and lack an inner drive to produce a quality report on economics, I bypassed the whole college thing. I spent 7 years in the Army National Guard and have been in the world of government contracting ever since.”

He started in triathlons in 2007 and finished IM Lake Placid in 2008. “I signed up for Lake Placid again this coming July,” he said, “but the 40 extra pounds I put on since starting Rev3 is making that look more daunting! Guess it's time to start training again.”

Exciting things happening!

Well as you all know this winter has been filled with non stop SNOW!!!!!! This has made training TOUGH!
Lots of treadmill running and no biking outdoors in months. Thankfully i just got back from a training camp in las Cruces New Mexico where I got some much needed biking in!

I cannot believe we are in the second month of 2011 already!!! Where is the time going?
I have been wanting to update my blog for a while...but with Facebook and Twitter,camps and kids time just flies!!!!

Today I am feeling a little under the weather as everyone over the course of camp got sick...I stayed healthy until the last two days of camp and I have managed to bring it back to New Jersey. So I shall use this day off to take the time to relax for a bit and catch up on all the exciting things happening in Team Trakkers!

Firstly I am so happy and privileged to be part of this Team for the second year! As far as I am concerned this is the Team to be on...we are fortunate to be a part of the greatest new series to hit triathlon...The Rev 3 Triathlon series!

The REVOLUTION3 Triathlon is changing the way triathlons are run! They recognized the need for a first class race experience while keeping things fun for everyone! With the growth of triathlon the need to change the way athletes and their loved ones view and participate in triathlons of all distances is so important.
My family can vouch for this. I have been racing for eight years and them coming to races started to get old...the early starts and then waiting around with nothing to do, in undesirable locations was resulting in me taking alot more trips without them. But with the start of Rev 3 all this has changed. It has become a more interactive, enjoyable experience for them by providing fun activities for my children and my husband during the race. Revolution 3 is all about change! Change for the age grouper, change for the professional athlete, and change for the spectators.
With races like Quassy and Cedar Point and now Costa Rica...these are now memories that we can all share together!

So thus I am happy and excited to report that in ten days we shall all head out to Costa Rica for a fabulous family vacation and an opportunity for me to race against some of the best athletes in a stunning destination. What more can a mom who loves being a competitive athlete ask for!!!!

Now back to Trakkers. The team has some amazing sponsors for 2011.
Firstly we shall continue to ride our wonderful speedy Kestrel bikes. I am looking forward to trying the new 4000 out. I have heard so many good reviews on it.

Secondly we have 2 new sponsors....Avia and TYR!!! Exciting!
I have been admiring the Avia's cool skull looking merchandise and running shoes for a few years now and am glad I get to try them first hand!
Over the years I have had several TYR belongings but this is my first year to be sponsored by them. Along with a new fast looking Hurricane westsuits we have been given, are there amazing line of TYR travel luggage. This is the sweetest looking set that will accompany me on many racing trips this year! Who knew TYR had a luggage line. Check it out on the TYR website.

We are back with First Endurance again. By far the most complete and amazing nutrition product line on the market! Just look at all the Elite teams that are using there products. A sign of how they are recognized as one of the leaders of nutrition is Endurance Sport! EFS/Ultragen/Multi V and Optygen HP got me through this last ten days of intense training out in Las Cruces.

My latest discovery is 1 scoop of Cappuccino Ultragen mixed with warm milk before bed...ahh sets me up for a great nights sleep!

Well more to update on my recent training trip to Las Cruces....but that's all I have time for for now!